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Don't lose control of your video content

By: Lydia Bird

Storing your video content on popular social media platforms like YouTube and Vimeo might be easy and free, but you give up control and security. Is the trade off worth it?

When you consider the power of video, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 41 percent of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their content strategies in the next year. Or that 45 percent of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week. Not only that, but 64 percent of consumers say that watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision in the last month.

Video works. But only if you can control it.

As 2018 social media highlights like the Walmart Yodeling Kid and Donald Trump’s inability to close an umbrella  prove, managing the spread of video content is often impossible. While it’s easy, quick and free to post a video onto platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, you’ve got little say in how that content is viewed and shared.

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Undiscoverable video can still be found

A common social media tactic, such as making your videos ‘undiscoverable’, might seem like a robust way to hide your content. But doing so simply means that a video gets excluded from search results – anyone with a direct link can still view, copy and share it. Yes, there are deeper methods of restricting access (via tightened privacy controls), but this approach doesn’t scale well and strips away most of the usability benefits of using a social platform for video storage.

Then there’s a question of ownership. By using a social media platform, you are uploading video to a third-party and so become subject to that platform’s terms and conditions. In YouTube’s case, it “does not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to Content.” In fact, section 7 of its Terms of Service points out that, while “you retain all of your ownership rights”, you are required to “grant limited licence rights to YouTube and other users of the Service.”

Worse, your data could be stored in non-compliant jurisdictions as a result of rigorous backup processes, or be used for marketing purposes. Businesses now operate in a world where tighter privacy laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require strict best practice on the collection, processing, handling and storage of data. How can you even hope to do that if you don’t have full control of where your content is stored or who has access to it?

A social media security nightmare?

There are also a host of associated data security risks that come with the use of social media for video storage, some of which can have serious impacts on the wider enterprise. The most obvious issue is that of creating dormant social accounts, which offer a powerful incentive for hackers to compromise and then masquerade as the genuine owner – e.g. your business.

For publicly-listed enterprises this becomes a very serious risk, as market manipulation as a result of social network compromise is common and relatively low-risk for an attacker. As well as conducting phishing attacks on the target enterprise to steal credentials, there is also a sizeable attack surface within associated social network apps, plugins and APIs. These are often convenient and very valuable for content performance tracking purposes, but also see regular compromises that can potentially leak company login information.

Social media vs. media asset management

While there are workarounds for some of these issues, the effort required is significant, and the overall risk is still higher than many businesses are comfortable with. This is where professional media management platforms can play a central role, keeping video storage private and protected (through highly granular control of workgroups and individual permissions), yet making content easily accessible and shareable.

This allows videos to be shared frictionlessly, with all the scalability of a social media platform and all the security that a modern enterprise demands. Imagen, for example, includes support for Single Sign On, secure HTTPS/HSTS downloads and flexible access rights. Our watermarking feature can burn onscreen graphics into proxies before making them available for sharing, while sunrise/sunset functionality allows content to be made available to individuals/groups for specific time periods.

Social media sites like YouTube and Vimeo are designed to host video. But as a business archive, there are too many variables that can’t be controlled and too many weaknesses that can’t be patched. A dedicated media management platform can deliver the perfect blend of speed, control, accessibility, security and scalability to satisfy everyone from investors and CTOs to marketing managers and media producers.

Video works. And with Imagen, you *can* control it.

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